Twenty Odd Years - Reviews

rob symmons subway sect

"Greatest Living Englishman"

BEN CLANCY, Melody Maker. 1999

rob symmons subway sect

PUNK gunslinger, mod soul boy, the hip kids' Sinatra and,just maybe, Greatest Living Englishman, Vic Godard is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

This double-CD compilation shows the full extent of Godard's gift. The Subway Sect's 1978 debut single, 'Ambltion" is nervy rock'n'roll spray painted with sophisticated soul. They then played on there backs at Yves St Laurent party in Paris and no-one could touch them.

As is so often the way the masses didn't want this entertainment. During his career, Godard shunned monotony and bandwagon-jumping in favour of innovation. He merged Northern Soul with firebrand guitars, post-war swing a with big band. He did it first and this is your chance to hear it done best.

In terms of blazing creativity and purity of intent, Godard's only contemporary, rival was Kevin Rowland, Godard's latter day material, however, burns brightly and confirms his status as one of the greats.


"Whenever Godard adopted a style it became a genre and when it became a genre ... he did something else"

rob symmons subway sect

The Express, Friday October 1st 1999.

There are a thousand contenders for the crown of Pop's Lost Genius - Peter Perrett is an obvious such character - but next to Godard they're nothing more than pretenders, The man's got more tunes in his cupboard than, I don't know, Backstreet Boys, more ideas than a man with a lot of ideas.

Godard first came to notice in 1977 with intellectual art punk terrorists Subway Sect, a band who were simply too pure to last. Fantastic,songs, Songs that burnt into the soul. On their last great song, Ambition, Godard sang "And I won't be tempted by vile evils, because vile evils are vile evils", And he wasn't he mutated into a Francophile, musical raconeur, then into a lounge lizard then a Radio 2 style crooner .. , Whenever Godard adopted a style it became a genre and when it became a genre ... and he did something else.

The good news is that there's a new compilation Twenty Odd . Years (Motion) charting his career and a rare gig (Dingwalls, Camden Town, London NWl, October 5 1999). Buy the record. Go to the gig. Listen. You want more incentive? Edwyn Collins (another contender for the crown) is supporting.


"The most wilfully eclectic and melodic back pages of the post-punk era..."

SR, MOJO Magazine, 1999

rob symmons subway sectVic Godard finally gets the compilation he deserves, a 2 CD, 48-track trawl through some of the most wilfully eclectic and melodic back pages of the post-punk era .. Tantalising glimpses of the shelved 1978 Sect LP (Exit/No Return, a lost New Wave milestone) reveal how much of a loss that great band's demise was. There's most of 1980's What's The Matter Boy? debut, remastered and now, at true speed, sounding better than ever, highlights of Vic's swinging and crooning years (Stop That Girl, Hey Now I'm In Love) and Edwyn Collins-sponsored '93 comeback Won't Tum Back , and its Dennis Bovell dub version).

There are also 10 bonus cuts including the heart-rending Place I Used To live with the late Matthew Ashman, and a shambolic, searing Sister Ray from the White Riot tour. Best of all there's the remixed Johnny Thunders 45, a joyful, raucous epitaph that must have had Vic's hero slamming in his sarcophagus.


See more 'Twenty odd years' reviews (.pdf) HERE.